10/31/2007. In January 1943 the USAAF ordered three prototypes of the all-wing rocket-propelled XP-79 interceptor fighter. Problems with the development of the rocket engines led to canceltation of two of the three XP-79ís. An order was issued to redesign the rocket-propelled fighter into a jet-propelled fighter. Manufactured of heavy-gauge magnesium and with thick leading-edge skin (reinforced with heliarc-welded steel armor plates) the XP-79B was to withstand ramming attacks on the tail surfaces of enemy bombers (hence its nickname Flying Ram).
The XP-79B was delivered to the Muroc Dry Lake, California, testing
facility in June 1945 and the only flight took place on September 12,
1945. Harry Crosby took the aircraft to 10,000 ft (3,048 m), while
checking the controls the aircraft went suddenly into an irreversible
spin. Crosby bailed out, was hit by the XP-79B and was unable to open
his parachute. Crosby was killed, the aircraft was consumed by fire
after impact and subsequently the program was cancelled. View also photo